A family friend recently shared about how he has been watching his 9-month old daughter’s endless efforts to pull her self up. She crawls over to the nearest structure, gets a grip, and goes at it. Her goal is to stand. Oftentimes she falls back to the floor. But she tries it all over again. One day her dad noticed something that I find absolutely fascinating. He picked her up by grabbing her the way he has probably every day of her 9-month old life when he realized she was more firm in some areas than before. Turns out, all that falling and pulling up and falling and pulling up again had literally aided in the development of muscle. Parts of her body that were soft and mushy were now noticeably firmer.
How about that!
I wonder what would happen if we applied this principle to our own efforts in life. What if we persevered the way a baby does when she’s determined to stand? Yes, it will be hard. It will hurt. We will fall. Some of the structures we grab hold of will prove to be as unstable as we are. But we can get back up. Pull ourselves up off the floor . . . again and give it another try. The more we persevere the better we become at persevering. It’s its own reward.
Paul put it this way:
“. . .Never give up.” (1 Timothy 4:16a [NIV])
In this letter to Timothy, Paul reminds him to guard his life and his doctrine. Timothy was a godly man and his doctrine was sound and scriptural. Paul warned him to watch both of these closely because a true transformation consists of perseverance in godly living and always believing the truth of God’s Word. Timothy was living in a time when taking a stand for godliness and for absolute Biblical truth was not well received. Much like today, huh? It’s interesting that right in the middle of Paul’s encouragement to “keep a firm grasp on both [his] character and [his] teaching. . .” and seeing the fruit of toiling in this way is this challenge to “never give up” –this challenge to persevere. This implies that the connection between living godly lives and experiencing the blessings of such is perseverance.
Are you on the brink of giving up or giving in? But a piece of you wants to take a stand! At home, at school, at work, at church, at the polls, in the grocery store? Perhaps you’re tired of the flab of insecurity, the giggle of your “I can’t do it” mentality, and fed up with those extra rolls of doubt and defeat scrolling through your thoughts. If so, remember that the transformation from a softy to one who is firm and fit in the faith involves perseverance—falling and pulling up and falling and pulling up again. Be encouraged. Let’s heed Paul’s advice to live a godly life with a firm grasp on the truth of God’s Word. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, as believers, we can do it! Yes, it will be hard. It will hurt. But one stable structure we can grab hold of is His Word and its promises. So “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).